Depression is one of the most elusive diseases. Most people don’t even notice that they are suffering from it until it is too late. It stays hidden together with some other mental or physical health issues. Although there are many causes and treatments that vary accordingly, we were able to find 5 simple steps to relieve depression.
Before we get into that, we shall discuss some basics of depression, but don’t worry, we won’t stay there for long. Our intention for this article is to get to the solutions as fast as possible. However, it is good to know what depression is, its causes, and its symptoms.
What is Depression?
Depression is a mental condition of feeling ‘Blue‘ or sad. Not that there is something wrong with it. All people feel sad from time to time. However, a person suffering from depression as a disorder feels it constantly. Additionally, his/her social and work life gets seriously affected.
What are the Symptoms of Depression?
Symptoms of Depression vary depending on age, sex, and personal history of the patient. Yet, some symptoms are pretty common:
- Feeling sad all the time
- Very low energy
- Lack of self-esteem
- Lack of enthusiasm
- Inability to focus on anything
- Having no fun with life
Is Depression Only a Mental Condition?
No, but it may start as one. Our mind is a powerful thing. It has the ability to control many bodily functions. Therefore, depression may start as a mental condition, but given long enough time, it’ll induce physical manifestations. The crucial of which is a hormonal imbalance.
Several hormones are responsible for our happiness and elevated mood. Endorphin relaxes, Norepinephrine (Adrenalin) produces energy, and Dopamine gives you a sense of satisfaction and love.
If for any reason the production of those hormones is lower than normal, you will lack energy. Also, you will lose interest in things, lose self-esteem, and feel ‘Blue‘. In other words, your normal mental depression has now become a physical issue. You may call it Clinical Depression.
What are the Causes of Depression?
There is a whole list. We’re going to require a separate article for that. As mentioned before, our intention here is to find the steps to relieve depression so here is a shortlist of the major causes of Depression:
- Relationship issues (Breakups or loss of loved ones)
- Work issues (Financial loss)
- Accidents and other traumatic experiences
- Life-threatening diseases such as cancer
- Genetic conditions
- Addiction to substances such as alcohol or drugs
- Other mental diseases such as Anxiety or Sleep Disorder
How do you identify that you are suffering from Depression?
Again, it is very subtle and hard to detect since Depression generally follows some other conditions. It is natural to feel sad when a loved one dies. Yet, people without depression will grief in a different way.
A normal person will feel sad due to the loss, but also time to time feel good remembering the happy memories. He/she will also be able to let go easily. Soon, he/she will be able to resume normal activities.
A depressed person will feel sad constantly. Happy memories won’t affect him/her in a positive way. He/she will lose interest in life, work, or other social interactions for a long time, and if serious, will need medical attention.
What are the 5 Simple Steps to Relieve Depression?
We are now in the solution part. Recognizing that you have depression is the key and that will be our first step.
Step 1: Recognizing that You have Depression
Pick a week (7 days) and monitor your mood in different situations and see if you can answer the following questions:
- Did something good happen during the week, and how did I react?
- Did something bad happen during the week, and how did I react?
- Was my mood up or down for the most part of the week?
If your answers are the following, you can conclude that ‘I am Depressed’.
- Something good happened but I didn’t recognize it or thought that was not important, and I wasn’t appreciative.
- Something bad happened and I strongly recognized it and was very sad.
- 70% of the week, I was sad and didn’t have the energy to do anything at work or in social situations.
Step 2: Start a Good Diet Plan
It is not often appreciated enough unless it is a weight loss topic, but a healthy diet is an important step to relieve Depression. It restores the hormonal balance and removes toxins. Always eat lightly. You should feel refreshed after a sufficient healthy diet (Not heavy).
Vitamin B is known to help release energy. Yogurt, milk, cheese, liver, eggs, and some green vegetables like lettuce, spinach, kale, and collard greens are excellent sources. And believe it or not, lean red meat (Beef) in this case is also very healthful. Seafood such as mussels, clams, and oysters is also great.
Avoid introducing toxins to your body. Fatty and processed foods are poisons for a depressed person. They reduce or block the production of Dopamine, a hormone that you desperately need. Cigarettes and alcohol do the same.
Step 3: Start an Exercise Regimen
Physical exercise releases Endorphin, a potent morphine-type hormone that relaxes the entire body. Why not spend a little time doing that? Yoga works the best, but 30 minutes of jump rope and some stretching will also do the trick. We know that you feel lazy, but a total of 1 hour to 1:30 hours is not that big a deal. What else are you gonna do with the time you have at hand?
Step 4: Listen to or Read some Philosophy
Hardline medical websites or journals won’t say this, but according to what we have observed, this is one of the most important steps. We can even name the philosophers. Turn on YouTube and find Eckhart Tolle, Deepak Chopra, or Alan Watts. If you are into reading, you can also find some of their books at the library near your home. If you are into Smartphones, download a digital copy.
Spend some time reading and listening to them instead of browsing through social media. It makes you sad anyway when you see your friends having a great time and you are left alone.
Step 5: Depression Medications and Therapy
Unless you have a serious clinical depression such as ‘Major Depressive Disorder’ or ‘Postpartum Depression’, you actually do not need this step at all. If you can identify your depression in the beginning and it is not serious, the first 4 steps to relieve depression will do.
However, if it is serious, we don’t discourage seeking medical attention. Medical solutions will include the use of antidepressants and some behavioral therapy. The good thing about it is that you will be monitored by a professional. The bad is that antidepressants are addictive. It may start a new problem.
Citalopram (Celexa), Fluoxetine (Prozac), Sertraline (Zoloft) are some of the drugs that can help with depression. Valium (Diazepam) can also be of help although it is not considered an antidepressant. However, it is known to be useful in alcohol or substance abuse cases.
Valium helps when a person is feeling anxious and depressed during the withdrawal period. It increases the effectiveness of Dopamine and Endorphin. You can also get it online thanks to the spread of the internet. However, a lot of the online pharmacies are fake so be very careful. We have an article that explains ‘How to spot a fake online pharmacy’, and another that shows where to ‘Buy Valium online safely’.
Nevertheless, medications should be your last straw. Our Step 5 is reserved for only the patients with severe chronic Depression.
True, we were not able to cover all the aspects of Depression, the types, and causes in detail, but we hope this article helps. If you have a question, please leave a comment and we’ll answer them directly or with another article.